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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

Cloud Integration and SOA

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Systems can be placed on premise, outsourced to an off-site cloud or to a number of them. For instance, two or more SaaS systems that connect back to the on-premise infrastructure. Integration works in various ways.

Between the private and the public Cloud there maybe a Virtual Cloud approach deployment that makes integration almost transparent through a secure VPN.
Inside the Cloud, the supplier provides connectors between applications and other services like storage.

Between Clouds there can be a number of solutions because Clouds are not quite standard. But there are a few Cloud integrators that link selected SaaS applications: CastIron, Beowulf, Boomi, Pervasive, Informatica...
One also have the traditional System Integrators.

Of course, it helps if your applications are SOA and Web Services based since integration becomes almost transparent. A SOA service should hide both the technology and the location of the service and offers access solely through an interface reducing the integration crisscross. That is why a SOA design becomes best practice before Cloud adoption.

Another best practice is to harmonize the Information architecture of the SaaS and on-premise applications and make sure the data formats are aligned or translated properly. One might have to deploy an MDM hub.
 
Not least, one should verify that key processes and transactions still work, end to end, over the distributed Cloud applications.

Aggregation Cloud brokers may be used to combine multiple existing services into one, taking the burden of data and process integration from the client. A broker means both a provider and a distribution technology.
The broker would also take care of revenue sharing between Cloud Providers.

Is SOA needed?
For integration between multiple Clouds and on-premise applications, a clean SOA architecture simply eliminates the internal integration fur-ball spreading in the Clouds.
For a single application, outsourcing to SaaS without SOA may be still all right.

An Enterprise Business Architecture is the 3rd best practice recommended since it supplies the big picture of the Enterprise, its functions, the systems executing them and the internal organizational units and Cloud providers supplying the services.

So long

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Adrian Grigoriu blogs about everything relating to enterprise and business architecture, SOA, frameworks, design, planning, execution, organization and related issues.

Adrian Grigoriu

Adrian is an executive consultant in enterprise architecture, former head of enterprise architecture at Ofcom, the spectrum and broadcasting U.K. regulatory agency and chief architect at TM Forum, an organization providing a reference integrated business architecture framework, best practices and standards for the telecommunications and digital media industries. He also was a high technology, enterprise architecture and strategy senior manager at Accenture and Vodafone, and a principal consultant and lead architect at Qantas, Logica, Lucent Bell Labs and Nokia. He is the author of two books on enterprise architecture development available on Kindle and published articles with BPTrends, the Microsoft Architecture Journal and the EI magazine. Shortlisted by Computer Weekly for the IT Industry blogger of the year 2011.

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